Sustainability in Libraries: Lisa G. Kropp

Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving

April 28, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. Although I wrote that sentence in March 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, that is … Continue reading Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving

Solar panels on the roof of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Photo: McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability

March 2, 2020

Earth Day will be observed April 22. 1 Year ago the American Library Association (ALA) added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council committed to the triple bottom-line framework for sustainability: practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. 50 Number of years Earth … Continue reading By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability

Youth Matters, by Larissa Clotildes

Waste Not, Want Not

March 2, 2020

I am not denying the educational value of crafts. They stimulate creativity, develop fine motor skills, and engage multiple senses in a learning experience. But I challenge myself to find activities that do not produce single-use waste, without sacrificing everything that makes crafts so great. I use the five Rs as my baseline: Refuse. Reject … Continue reading Waste Not, Want Not

Graphic: On My Mind with Kayla Kuni

What Does Green Mean?

March 2, 2020

Sustainability initiatives often focus primarily on environmentalism, that is, the importance of reducing the footprint we leave on our physical spaces and habitats in order to preserve them over time. Social and financial measures are just as important to the longevity of our work, and by incorporating these principles into our programming, we can help … Continue reading What Does Green Mean?

Debbie Harry (Photo: Scott Sherratt)

Newsmaker: Debbie Harry

November 21, 2019

American Libraries spoke with her about music, art, libraries, and how climate activism is the new punk. Your life and image have been heavily documented already. Was it difficult to separate your memory of things from the photograph or the edited version of events? Oh, yes. Especially between me and Chris [Stein, Blondie cofounder and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Debbie Harry

The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee

Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens

Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens

May 31, 2019

In Episode 38, Dewey Decibel examines how libraries are using outdoor spaces for gardening and food production. First, ALA Editions Acquisitions Editor Rachel Chance speaks with Kathy Lane, programming, events, and outreach coordinator at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library (BPL), and the BeeChicas of Boulder, beekeepers who advocate for sustainable pollination and beekeeping, about BPL’s rooftop … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: The Buzz on Library Gardens

From left, Milton Bluehouse Jr., Cassandra Allen, and Corey Garza present “Environmental Justice @ Your Library and in Your Community,” a September 29 session at the third National Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Path to Environmental Justice

September 30, 2018

“We are all familiar with what happened in Flint,” said Cassandra Allen, outreach librarian at the National Library of Medicine. So what part can libraries, universities, and other organizations play in making sure people of all races, cultures, and income levels are treated fairly when it comes to environmental development, implementation, and policy? At “Environmental Justice … Continue reading The Path to Environmental Justice

Stories of Sustainability

February 13, 2018

Joe Mocnik, dean of libraries at North Dakota State University in Fargo (NDSU), was talking about his school’s relationship to renewable energy on a campus mainly heated by coal power—in a state about 75% reliant on coal—but the challenges and opportunities he described sounded familiar to librarians looking to make sustainable development ingresses at their … Continue reading Stories of Sustainability

Michigan State University librarian Eric Tans with the book debinding machine

Leading the Green Revolution

November 1, 2017

“When you start talking about compost and food waste, people immediately think of fruit flies and mice and stinky garbage,” Tans says. As the school’s environmental sciences librarian, Tans participates in MSU Libraries’ robust programming around recycling, composting, and deaccessioning books. Founded in 1855, MSU is a historically agricultural school. The institution’s long tradition of … Continue reading Leading the Green Revolution

Welcome to Wrocław

September 22, 2017

“It is time for you, at this conference, to engage and explore,” said Donna Scheeder, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to the crowd gathered for the Opening Session of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) on August 20. “I’m sure among this group is a future IFLA president somewhere.” Speakers seemed … Continue reading Welcome to Wrocław